It won't surprise you to learn that City 17 is one of Left 4 Dead 2's most popular mod campaigns. Now it's arrived on Steam Workshop, all it takes is a cursory push of the 'Subscribe' button to revisit a version of Viktor Antonov’s totalitarian masterpiece populated by a very different set of monsters.
As part of Valve’s continuing efforts to port their back catalogue over to the open source operating system Linux, escaping the clutches of Microsoft, the developer today released the beta version of Left 4 Dead 2 Linux.
Valve have also started hosting four new community-made campaigns.
Napad is the Serbo-Croatian word for “assault”, and the name of one of Resident Evil’s ugliest nasties in a crowded field. A sort of rat king made of humans, the Napad sees C-virus infected corpses fuse together and adopt a really angry version of sentience. Sounds like just the thing for a holiday-for-four in Georgia, doesn’t it?
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Valve have lent Capcom a hand in fighting the zombie horde. Resident Evil 6 players can now play as their favourite Left 4 Dead 2 characters. In the “Mercenaries” mode, players can choose either Coach, Nick, Ellis and Rochelle and take the fight against Raccoon Cities enemies.
Oh, and Left 4 Dead Witch and Tank will be making the leap, too. The mode is included free with the PC version of Resident Evil 6, which is available on Steam right now.
Click! You’re playing a campaign through Zelda’s usually bloodless Kokiri forest. Click! Nick is now sporting a black goatee. Click! You’re mashed into the earth by a modified Tank.
That’s the idea, anyway. While Left 4 Dead 2’s Steam Workshop has crawled out of beta, it’s only been up and about for a day and is consequently a little bare. Assorted items, skins and some of the 1,000 existing community campaigns have already begun to trickle in, however, and Valve are confident we’ll see a steady stream flow through the Workshop’s doors in the coming days and weeks.
Valve have decided to officially support a community made Left 4 Dead 2 campaign called Warcelona. Meaning, once you've installed the custom map pack you'll be able to search for games using the Left 4 Dead's native search client. While the installation is a bit of a chore, Valve have revealed that it will be much easier soon as Left 4 Dead's Steam Workshop component is finally entering private beta and so shouldn't be too far from release, hopefully.
More on how to get hold of the campaign after the break.
Valve are currently taking submissions for their Second Annual Saxxy Awards, the Team Fortress 2 filmmaking contest designed to promote and reward the very finest (and weirdest) in Source engine animation. This year, hopeful entrants are armed with the powerful Source Filmmaker tool, hoisting up the quality of the average entry only very slightly. The thing is, vigilant organisers Valve are hiding all submissions until the voting stage begins on November 16, meaning we've had to piece together our own list of eight potential winners: some are bonafide Saxxy 2012 entries, while others are... not so much. You can also see our previous crop of Source Filmmaker greatness here. Enjoy!
And who said being in the midst of a zombie apocalypse means you can't make friends? Valve must no one of the nay-sayers because their upcoming free weekend for Left 4 Dead 2 encourages all sorts of helpful handholding and icebreaking conversations, and all with the help of achievements.
Left 4 Dead 2 will be the fourth Valve game to become fully-integrated with Steam Workshop, the community-created content service. From mid-October, you can mainline maps and mods with a single click on PC, Mac and Linux.
Over on Reddit, user rofulz notices a striking similarity between a vaguely industrial looking warehouse in CS:GO and a vaguely industrial looking, decrepit warehouse in Left 4 Dead 2. If it had been any other developer, we'd cry foul over lazy re-use of assets. But as this is Valve we're talking about, there's only one real explanation. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a Left 4 Dead prequel.
And frankly, we don’t know too many gnomes. It is, of course, cognitive scientist namesake and regular Valve cameo-ist Gnome Chompski that sharp Redditors have found perched unceremoniously at the top of a mountain in new Battlefield 3 DLC Armored Kill. How has he found his way here? Theorists have speculated that his appearance signals an imminent EA buyout of Valve, or the confirmation of much-pandered-after sequel Half-Life 3. The truth?
Everybody knows that one factor in creating a good gaming experience is throughput. Ask me what one factor in creating a good gaming experience is and before you even finish the question I'll be on my feet, slapping whatever it is you're holding out of your hands and bellowing "throughput". So when the Valve Linux blog writes that "one factor in creating a good gaming experience is throughput", I'm all like "yes, obviously" before quickly scanning the rest of the article to find out what that means. Turns out that it means Valve have managed to get Left 4 Dead 2 running faster in Linux than it does in Windows. Only about 4% faster, sure, but that's impressive considering how early into Linux development Valve are.
Here's something you might've overlooked amidst all the Cold Stream launch excitement: Valve are currently featuring Left 4 Dead community campaign Deathcraft II, a total conversion of the co-op shooter that transforms it into a zombie-ridden Minecraft world. What happens when Valve 'feature' community campaigns? They get hosted on official dedicated servers is what, meaning now's a good time to download the Deathcraft II campaign and smack some low-res zombies.
We always take it as read that mods are good for PC gaming - that giving the gaming community tools to create new content for their favourite game should extend the life of that game. The problem with mods previously is that distribution and installation of the final content was a hard problem - one that Steam’s Workshop has made a good stab of fixing. Now, installing a mod is as easy as clicking a link.
I wanted to investigate what effect the Steam Workshop is having on the games that have adopted it. To do so, I’ve used SteamGraph to track player numbers over the past year for most of the Steam Workshop games. The only game that isn't included is Naval War: Arctic Warfare, as there too few players online for it to be tracked.
The hypothesis is, surely, that Steam Workshop will bring more players into your game, and keep them playing for longer. Is that true?
Left 4 Dead 2's Cold Stream DLC is here. Well not here, but there, on your PC or Mac, having surreptitiously downloaded itself while you were fast asleep in bed, creeping on to your hard drive like a digital out of season Santa Claus. The free DLC, which has been in public beta since the dawn of time, officially ports the original Left 4 Dead's campaigns into Left 4 Dead 2, while also adding the community-created Cold Stream campaign. It also introduces a dash of a sprinkling of additional stuff, like freely available mutations, the ability to import L4D characters into the Source Filmmaker, and more! More!